When considering a Boxer as a family pet, there are a couple of different ways to enhance your chances of ending up with a good reliable companion.
Beyond these initial tactics, a Boxer can be molded into a wonderful pet with good training techniques, but these steps are a good place to start.
If you have the budget to accommodate it, one of the best ways of acquiring any breed is through a responsible breeder.
This can help ensure that your dog comes with the best genes, to raise its chances of avoiding any ailments that its breed might be prone to.
Beyond this, even once you have found a good breeder, it is important to spend a little time visiting all of the available puppies to get an initial idea up front, of their temperaments.
Keep in mind that is normal for pups to be very playful and high energy, so although you may be concerned about being able to develop good control of your dog, this is likely not a good first estimation of how well they will train. However, there are other things that you should look for to help you choose a good pup.
It is important to not only keep an eye out for good health indicators such as energy levels, a shiny coat, lack of crustiness around their nose and eyes, etc but also to look for clues as to their temperament. Puppies that are flexible in their play and respond well to their littermates are likely to also respond well to training.
All of these things should also be taken into account should you choose to adopt a full grown dog from a pound or shelter. An added benefit from this option is that it is often possible to gather information on whether or not the dog you are considering has exhibited any troubling behaviors in the past.
With the proper approach to training, Boxers can be very good family dogs and companions for children for many years. Boxers tend to be of a rather rambunctious nature and will require a good amount of training and exercise to keep them at their best behavior. They love to be included in play and will need daily romps, which can be ideal for families with a number of energetic children.
Though, usually generally energetic, exercise needs can and will vary according to age as well as personality. Boxers who are still pups and even those that are young adults will usually require the highest amounts of exercise, and as they age, those needs will become more minimal.
Also, young Boxers can tend to be excitable and animated, though quite often they will develop a more calm and regal demeanor as they increase in age. With a proper foundation of training in their younger years, this can result in a very calm and reliable companion.
As far as other family pets are concerned, it’s not uncommon for Boxers to show some aggression. This can especially happen towards other dogs of the same gender.
With proper socialization from a young age, this can issue can be greatly minimized. They tend to do alright with cats, though a lot of them enjoy a good cat chase from time to time.
When training your Boxer, it is important to realize that although they need firm and consistent leadership, and although they can tend to be stubborn, they are also sensitive and very proud.
In order to best get through to your Boxer and get the best reaction from them during training, it is important to remember that they respond best to upbeat and persuasive ways. Encourage them during the training process and be sure to praise them thoroughly when they have done well.
It is not uncommon that if they are handled roughly, for example being jerked around or subjected to harsh verbal lash outs, they will shut down and proceed to pout and sulk while refusing to respond to commands and promptings.
Although the majority of boxers tend to prove themselves to be very good and reliable watchdogs, their guard dogs instincts along with their territorial instincts will vary greatly by the dog.
Most often, Boxers that come directly from German bloodlines will be the most aggressive or forceful when it comes to strangers. Those from mixed lines can vary anywhere between greeting visitors with much tail wagging and enthusiastic barks of welcome to simply treating strangers with polite aloofness.
Boxers are very loyal companions and are very openly emotional allowing them to be very truthful companions. Boxers are also very eager to please.
Physically, Boxers have a thick, strong, muscular build and a very distinctly short muzzle and soulful, gentle and curious brown eyes on their thick box like heads. Full grown males usually weigh somewhere within the realm of 65 to 75 lbs and full grown females are slightly lighter at around 50 to 60 lbs.
Boxers come in three different colors; white, brindle (which is made up of mottled black markings on a light brown base) and light brown, also known as a fawn.
It is believed that the color white is genetically linked with deafness meaning that mostly white or all white Boxers are not highly desirable.
Their ears are often cropped but many owners opt to bypass the cropping procedure and allow the ears to fold over naturally. It is also very common for a Boxer’s tail to be docked.
Boxers are not considered to be fully matured until they have reached 3 years of age, which means that amongst the breeds of the dog world, they have one of the longest stages of puppyhood.
Boxers tend to be very loving and affectionate and are quick to consider themselves lap dogs if their owners will allow it. They make great indoor dogs as their short coats shed very little and require minimal grooming.
Many consider Boxers to be very ill suited to all outdoor living as their short noses are not efficient at cooling hot air during the warm months and their short coats do not provide sufficient warmth during the cold months. Boxers are also prone to much drooling.